As I continue reading Exodus, I am intrigued by a story. It is the story of the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites (Exodus 17: 8-13). It is only 5 verses long, but there is so much we can learn from it.... so much of God's LOVE that we can see!!!! This story is yet another LOVE LESSON for the Israelites (AND FOR US). During their rescue from Egypt and their pilgrimage in the desert, God has been busy building a relationship with His children. For the 400 years in captivity, they did not know God. They knew other "gods", but not THE God, Yahweh. Because of this, God planned to use the time spent in the desert for a special purpose. This desert journey was to be used as a pilgrimage of LOVE!! God was not only leading His children to the promised land, He was also leading them into a loving relationship with Him!
We learned in our previous studies that God taught the Israelites to totally depend on Him for their fulfillment and satisfaction. (See prior post about manna)
In today's story, we will see that God is teaching His children to deepen their DEPENDENCE on Him. He wants His children to realize how vitally important it is to look to HIM for their strength! They will face evil in their lives, BUT if they FOCUS on God and His strength, they will be victorious! They must learn to HOLD ONTO GOD'S STRENGTH- just as Moses HELD onto the sword!!!
The Amalekites in this Bible story are enemies of God. They are descendants of Esau, who chose long ago to NOT follow God. As the two groups were batttling, the Israelites would only be winning WHEN Moses had his arms lifted to the Heavens! What an AMAZING hands-on lesson given by God! His children MUST focus on Him and stay connected to Him if they want to be victorious! The Lord needed the Israelites to learn this early on in their journey! The lands with which they were going to cross were known to be filled with various enemies of God, so His children MUST be ready for any evil they may encounter!
We may not have Amalekites today, BUT we are surrounded by evil people and live in an evil society! Evil we can not defeat on our own power. We can ONLY defeat the darkness when we are LOOKING to God and depending on His strength.
Here are the verses:
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
I loved how Moses' two friends HELD his arms up when he got tired!!!
Do I surround myself with friends who TRULY have my best interest at heart? Friends who will help me KEEP my arms lifted to the Heavens!!!
What are your thoughts??